Marilyn Manson's Real Life Is Even Crazier Than The Rumors You've Probably Heard

Brian Hugh Warner is one fascinating individual. Not familiar with him? You're definitely familiar with his alter ego: Marilyn Manson. His legal name is probably one of the many things you didn't know about Marilyn Manson. The American musician took his stage moniker from two pop culture opposites - superstar Marilyn Monroe and mass murderer Charles Manson. From behind that spooky persona, he's released unforgettable songs like "The Beautiful People" and "The Dope Show," and made appearances in a number of movies.

Delve deeper into the Marilyn Manson biography, and you'll uncover a number of weird tales. He's one of the most prominent members of the Church of Satan, and he's fostered friendships with everyone from Johnny Depp to Macaulay Culkin. And then there's Manson's house, which is apparently filled with bizarre artifacts like children's books and paintings done by convicted killers. Maybe you consider him disturbing, but it might be more accurate to call him complicated. As these fascinating Marilyn Manson stories and facts show, he's one of the most intriguing figures in the music scene.

Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License

  • He Was Accused Of Severing His Own Penis

    He Was Accused Of Severing His Own Penis
    Photo: Andreas Lawen, Fotandi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Manson's actual behavior is outlandish enough, but some of the things he's been accused of are jaw-dropping. In 2003, for instance, he was arrested in Italy after a fan accused him of cutting off his genitals mid-concert and flinging them into the audience. To prove his innocence, Manson flashed the Italian police.

  • He Occasionally Shoplifts

    He Occasionally Shoplifts
    Photo: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Despite being worth an estimated $25 million, Manson still feels the urge to shoplift from time to time. He once stole a pair of sunglasses from the John Varvatos store - though he told them about it later, so according to Manson, it doesn't count. Manson also took a pack of spearmint gum from a CVS, which he later threw away without consuming.

  • His Mother May Have Had Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome

    As a child, Manson was often ill. He was anemic, and suffered multiple bouts of pneumonia. His mother told him that he was allergic to a number of unusual things, including eggs and fabric softener. She also told him that his earlobes were much too long, and pressured Manson into getting plastic surgery to correct this once his career took off.

    Manson claims his mother suffered from Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, a form of child abuse where the parent causes or feigns illness in their child in order to fulfill their own psychological needs. He believes he didn't actually suffer most of those illnesses and that the symptoms were caused by his mother. Manson seems to have come to terms with his childhood:

    "I didn't find out about the Munchausen until later in life, and I'm not sure how far back she had it. What I can say is that mental illness runs in the family."

  • He And Johnny Depp Have Matching Tattoos

    Manson and actor Johnny Depp enjoy a close relationship - so close that they've performed on stage together and attempted to buy antique Nazi guns together. They also have not one, but two matching tattoos. Both have the phrase "no reason" inked onto their wrists, and "Charles Baudelaire, the flowers of evil, this giant skeleton thing" on their backs. Manson is vague about the meaning behind the ink:

    "[They're] kind of a secret. People say to us, 'Why did you get that?' And we say, 'No reason.'"

  • Macaulay Culkin Bought Him His First Pack Of Cigarettes

    Macaulay Culkin Bought Him His First Pack Of Cigarettes
    Photo: Strand Releasing

    In an interview with Jay Leno, Manson talked about his time on the set of Party Monster, a 2003 film starring Macaulay Culkin. Manson had a small role in the movie as a smoking character, which presented a problem for the non-smoking musician. Luckily, Culkin was there to help him out. He bought Manson his first-ever pack of Virginia Slims Lite at a liquor store - after the ever-youthful Culkin showed his ID, of course.

  • Charles Manson Wrote Him A Strange Note

    Charles Manson Wrote Him A Strange Note
    Photo: Sean Molin Photography / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Manson took part of his stage name from Charles Manson, the serial killer who terrorized southern California in the 1960s. The murderer is behind bars, but in 2012 he sent Manson a bizarre postcard. The rambling note contains some vaguely threatening statements:

    "It’s taken me a long time to get there from where I could touch M. Manson. Now I got a card to play - you may look into my non-profit, ATWA, and give Manson what you think he’s got coming for Air, Trees, Water, and you. Or I will pay Manson what you think Manson got coming - the music has make Manson into Abraxas Devil, and I’m SURE you would want some of what I got from what I got. It’s a far out balance."

    Manson didn't respond to the convicted killer.